Grantham 1 Stamford 0
STAMFORD were knocked out of the FA Cup in disappointing clash with Kesteven rival Grantham Town on Saturday.
The tie was settled by a first strike from Gio Carchedi but it was a poor game with Grantham the better of two sides who struggled to play any football. The game was made worse by players not making allowances for the wind and constantly playing the ball out of play.
Stamford could justifiably complain about the legitimacy of the only goal but they had done little to win the game.
Danny Barrett was missing with a groin problem so Rob Maddox, recovered from his knee problem, came back in at left back while Gary King replaced Dean Oliver to make his first league start of the season. A favourite from the past, David Staff, has signed again and was on the bench.
The first chance went to Grantham after four minutes when Lee Beeson lost the ball and it was played quickly to Tristram Whitman. His shot went through several legs but Mario Ziccardi, seeing the ball very late, still dropped quickly to hold the ball.
The wind played a major part in the game, and most of it negative as the ball was overhit or players struggled to control it. It very nearly contributed to an opening goal for Grantham when a huge clearance from Rob Murray in the Gingerbreads goal carried through to Ziccardi. He watched the ball all the way and as it was dipping under the bar stretched to tip it over.
Stamford had a half chance when a Jake Gibson cross caused confusion between Ben Saunders and Murray but Murray recovered to beat Mullarkey to the loose ball. A minute later a Lee Potts free kick was straight to Whitman but his header came off a Stamford head and out for a corner.
With 23 minutes gone, Stamford lost the ball on the half way line and it was played quickly to Whitman. Supporters from both sides agreed he was at least two yards offside but, with no flag, he took the ball forward. Ziccardi was quick to clear but the ball went straight to Carchedi who had time to pick his spot and put Grantham ahead.
Three minutes later, Ziccardi had to be sharp again when a Carchedi cross found Whitman on the far post but Ziccardi was quick to get across and block his shot.
Jamie McGhee wasted another chance a minute later, twisting and turning to beat several Stamford players before delaying his shot and allowing Robbie Maddox to clear the ball.
The referee had twice spoken to Simon Clark but Grantham joint manager Wayne Hallcro must have said something much worse because the referee didn’t even talk to him before sending him off.
It was 1-0 at half time and neither side had played much good football.
The second half started even worse and 63 minutes had gone before either side created a chance. It was the best chance of the game for Stamford when a Beeson corner went straight through the Grantham defence but bounced off the chest of a surprised Sam Mullarkey on the far post and out for a goal kick.
Simon Clark brought on both Danny Cotton and Danny Steadman but Stamford didn’t change their tactics of the long ball to the front two.
A niggling tussle between Maddox and Whitman left Whitman on the ground as Maddox went past him on the edge of the Stamford penalty area. The referee consulted both linesmen and the linesman who hadn’t seen the offside saw a Maddox elbow from the halfway line and Maddox was shown the red card. A minute later, Whitman was seen by the referee to elbow Jacklin and he followed Maddox.
Oliver replaced Gary King and was quickly in the game, chasing down a short back pass to Murray but his shot was blocked out for a corner.
Stamford waited until the very last minute before they created a decent, quick, passing move involving several players and with the ball on the ground for the whole move which left the Grantham defence standing. The ball ended up with Cotton but he shot too early and the ball scraped the outside of the post.
Stamford: Mario Ziccardi, Matt Cook, Rob Maddox, Chris Gray, Miles Chamberlain, Michael Jacklin, Lee Beeson, Danny Brooks (Danny Steadman 61), Gary King (Dean Oliver 73), Sam Mullarkey, Jake Gibson (Danny Cotton 61). Subs not used: Seth Burkett, Andy Toyne, David Staff.